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photo: Alitalia

Alitalia staff warn of future strikes

The bankrupt Italian flag carrier’s staff demand reassurances about their employer’s future.

A strike is on the cards if employees at Alitalia do not get reassuring answers about the Italian flag carrier’s future by October 31, ATW reports.

This is the latest deadline for bids to buy the bankrupt airline – a stalled process that was delayed earlier this year and is still unresolved.

The airline declared bankruptcy in May 2017, buckling under increasing pressure from budget carriers operating in the country, starting a seemingly never-ending process to sell it.

Political uncertainty has slammed the brakes on the sale and ministers in Italy’s new populist government now appears to want to keep the carrier at least partly in state hands.

Administrators had previously made a shortlist of interested bidders and the new government promised quick decisions about Alitalia’s future, but now selling it to another airline for restructuring seems less likely. But the staff are getting impatient for firm answers.

Mobilise the workers
Stefano de Carlo, executive secretary of the pilots’ union ANPAC, tells Aviation Daily that with the sale mandate expiring at the end of the month there are still no specific solutions on the table.

“This, for us, is unacceptable and we have sounded the alarm to governing bodies to call for concrete solutions that should replace the promises made up until now,” he says.

“Flight attendants and pilots won’t wait passively for time to pass, and as October 31 approaches, in the absence of concrete solutions, they will mobilise.”

At a press conference in Rome earlier this week meant to publicise a new body uniting pilot and cabin crew unions called the Federazione Nazionale di Trasporto Aereo (FNTA), De Carlo made a similar point.

“We have a lot of doubts that Alitalia could survive another winter. In these conditions, if there is not a reassuring response by October 31, we will move to a phase of mobilisation of the workforce,” he said.

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